How much time do you spend each week on deep work – the most important projects you must complete to stand out in your position? For many of us, we have trouble getting even an hour. But, when you do make progress on a significant accomplishment, don’t you feel great? >
As we close 2017, I’ve been readings all the sage advice about New Years’ Resolution Making. I’m wondering if it should be resolutions or habits? >
While I was speaking with an executive this week, he complained that his team regularly asks him to make decisions for them. He doesn’t want to do that. He has a process. He asks them to:
- name the three best alternatives they have considered.
- explain their thinking.
- tell him which one they think is the best.
Usually, they can say which one is the best. And? They still don’t do it.
Why is that? One of the most important things an executive has to do is make decisions. Make many decisions. We assume that making decisions is something that distinguishes leaders. Still, we have no training in making decisions other than the school of hard knocks. So, as we promote our way to being executives, we come up with templates like T squares with one side for pros and one side for cons. Then we weigh the items on each side and see which has the higher value. Or we analyze the probability of success and failure for each option. All good ways to get to a decision.
In Vistage, we talk about making better decisions. We dig down into the emotions behind each choice. We dig into the assumptions of why that choice is a good one. We examine the beliefs behind the choices. You must get down to the beliefs that are keeping you from making a decision. You will not change your behavior unless the beliefs they are based on change.
Let me make it easier: Look at the cost in time and hours of not making a decision. The higher the cost, the more you need to make a decision. Even a relatively safe decision that you think has an 80% probability of success still has a 20% chance of failure. Sometimes, you just have to take a risk.If you are still struggling, a good question to ask is “by when should this decision be made?” If you have a month, you can put it aside and let your subconscious noodle it around. If it should have been yesterday, or a year ago you can’t put it aside.
The nasty bottom line is that even the best decisions may result in failure. Don’t let desire for perfection keep you from making the decision. Give it your best shot and move on.
What is one decision that you have been putting off? Get to it this week!
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Frustrated with my lack of progress in losing the weight I’ve gained over the last 3 years, I decided I had to apply business planning to personal goal planning. And, I had to make it a game that I wanted to win. That would require a longed-for goal, a reward for achieving it, regular measurement, daily practice and small awards along the way. >
Brilliant idea it was to address the question “you know it, so why don’t you do it?”. Then it occurred to me that I had written on this before. Sure enough. I had. And, I liked that post. And, I needed to go further. >
Don’t tell me you’ve never had to choose between what is best for the company and a family member, a business partner or a friend in the organization. Excruciatingly difficult, isn’t it?
Sitting in the airport in Frankfort waiting for the plane to Dubrovnik, I was thinking about all the steps that must be executed flawlessly for me to safely board the plane and arrive, without incident, in Croatia. >
While processing an opportunity at a Vistage meeting last week, one member asked if the company had a SOP around the process being discussed.
“What’s an SOP?” asked a Second Member.The group laughed or groaned. >
Does unscheduled time show up for you very often? You know, 2 hours with nothing to do and the freedom to do whatever you want. I’m guessing it doesn’t show up in your work hours and not during after hours, either. (Are there after hours anymore?) >
When you have an important decision to make, do you make it by yourself?Do you talk to other people on your management team? Or,